Tuesday afternoon a few WHNT viewers noticed ice crystals that didn't look like the traditional star-like snowflakes we typically expect. Instead, ice needles were found clumped together.
Snowflakes can come in many different shapes and sizes, including needles or rods. Snowflakes start as small ice crystals and grow into different shapes depending on temperature, moisture, and the wind.
In Alabama we most often see dendrites, which develop when temperatures are still close to the freezing point. Dendrites are classic 6-sided snowflakes. When temperatures are just a touch colder, closer to 20 degrees, we start to see more variety.
Ramona Edwards of Huntsville noticed the subtle shift from dendritic snowflakes to needles Tuesday as temperatures began to fall.